The heat is finally on: Heating restored at Shropshire church
Parishioners can leave their winter coats at home as they rejoice to see heating work completed at historic church.
The mammoth fundraising efforts of the Friends of St. Mary's Church in Cleobury Mortimer and the parochial church council have gone a long way towards keeping visitors warm this winter as they managed to raise £60,000 for vital repairs to the church's heating.
No longer will parishioners hear chattering teeth over the sounds of the service as all repair work on the Grade I listed building has been completed.
Steve Todd, secretary of the Friends of St. Mary's group, said it had been a community effort and they are grateful for all the donations.
"It is very good for such a small community," he said.
"We are miles from anywhere, right on the edge of the county and it might be because of that we have to fend for ourselves.
"There is so many other charitable efforts going on in Cleobury and it is great that we raised enough money. It was a good year last year for Cleobury."
The friends received a £10,000 grant from the National Lottery's Awards for All scheme and raised the rest by holding events in the town and gathering donations.
Seventy-five-year-old Chris Kippin, a retiree from Cleobury and regular churchgoer, cycled from the town to Land's End last year to raise money for the cause.
Steve said: "There has been a lot of support from the community itself not just the church goers.
"In a community of 3,000, no more than 100 or so go to church regularly, but others are still interested in keeping the church maintained."
The vital heating repair work took around a month to complete but has been on the agenda for years as the group raised money and waited for the right time to start work.
The money was spent on installing under-floor heating and new radiators to keep parishioners warm in the old building.
Steve said they look forward to hosting events that people can now enjoy in the warmth of the church.